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“Not to be missed, but make sure you reserve weeks ahead of time” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Alcatraz

Alcatraz
Bay Street and Embarcadero, Pier 33 Alcatraz Landing, San Francisco, CA 94133
+1 415-981-7625
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Activities: Group tours/day tour, Group tours/walking tour
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Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: Park rangers conduct tours by recounting the prison's thrilling history along with intriguing anecdotes about Al Capone and other legendary figures that made a "home" here.
Stavanger, Norway
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Not to be missed, but make sure you reserve weeks ahead of time”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 17, 2011

This is a great experience, to see the Alcatraz Island prison.

The sound-guide works well, a lot of real stories have been added and there is a lot of personal destinies that are talked about.

You can stay on the Island as long as you want, and it is really interesting to see. A lot of the Island has been barred off though, so it is a limited experience you get - strictly controlled by fences and guards.

We did not have tickets before we can to San Francisco, so we needed to use the plan-B way of getting tickets, which is to go through all the small shops which buy combined packages of bus tours and alcatraz-tours, for a high premium. Basically, they buy up all the tickets, and resell them for tourists that didn't know that there was a one week queue to get tickets. So do yourself a favour and book the tickets on line a few weeks ahead.

Was it worth it? I think it is. Especially if you don't have to go through the black market, uh no, I mean the resellers.

Visited May 2011
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Huntersville, North Carolina
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
13 attraction reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“loved!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 17, 2011

I lived here for 3 years and never visited until I came back as a tourist - what fantastic views! And the self paced (free) audio tour was incredibly done. Would recommend to everyrone!

Visited August 2011
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Barcelona, Spain
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“A great day”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 17, 2011

The Alcatraz Tour is definitely worth it. There is plenty of things to do on the island and free guided tours. The Audio Tour is well done and informative.
A must!

Visited July 2011
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Brisbane, Queensland
Top Contributor
199 reviews 199 reviews
180 attraction reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
114 helpful votes 114 helpful votes
“Ultimate San Francisco destination”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 17, 2011

Alcatraz is every bit as good as its cracked up to be - most of the ground floor of the cellhouse is open to visitors and the compulsory audio tour is far, far better than one guided by a person due to the huge numbers there at once. You can pause the tour and linger/go off elsehwere as you please, although it is easy to get a bit lost if you don't pay attention. The view from outside towards the City is incredible - I was lucky enough to see a cruise ship departing from one of the piers when I was there. The bad part is that most of the other buildings are closed or a ruins as a result of fire, so the cellhouse and a building on the way up to the cellhouse is all you can really see. The gift shop is supurb but some of the exhibits aren't as good as they should be. Be warned that the climb to the cellhouse from the wharf is the equivalent of climbing 13 stories in only 3 individual inclines - so come prepared to do some walking.

Visited July 2011
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New York City, New York
Top Contributor
75 reviews 75 reviews
22 attraction reviews
Reviews in 40 cities Reviews in 40 cities
110 helpful votes 110 helpful votes
“Return Visit As Good As First”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 17, 2011

As I've already written a review, stating the many positives of Alcatraz I've already experienced - I just wanted to add a few points that may help some readers. The first time we went, I did not to the audio tour. BIG MISTAKE. The audio tour really adds a lot to the experience and is NOT difficult to follow, even for my husband and myself (who get easily lost/confused at times). We DID NOT purchase tickets in advance during peak season and were very apprehensive, hearing from everyone that we were crazy, would have to pay inflated prices for a combo tour, or wake up at 6am to stand on line. So we woke up at 6am, were the 10th people on lines and waited. At 7:50am, they opened the ticket counter. We got tickets, naturally, but so did people who got there at 7:30. Don't fret too much if you do not get tickets in advance, particularly if you are from the East Coast. As we were on East Coast time, getting up early was not a big deal. One of the biggest differences from this Alcatraz trip and my first was the season, and all the differences that come with it. Summer is a much nicer time of year on Alcatraz. The flowers were in full bloom and it was beautiful. However, there were birds EVERYWHERE, which I did not see the first visit. It was amazing and freaky at the same time. There were multiple rotting bird carcases we spotted throughout our exploration of the island. If anyone has a bird phobia - avoid Alcatraz in the summer! lol. Seriously, though, it was a must-see for both trips and I'll go again. Alcatraz is an amazing piece of history, and not just as a prison. Check it out for yourself.

Visited August 2011
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